Remembering Remembrance Day

December 17, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Liberal member for Vaucluse has told the NSW Parliament of three Remembrance events she attended last month and their connection to the Jewish community within her electorate.

Gabrielle Upton addresses the NSW Parliament

She told Parliament:

“Each year Remembrance Day is an opportunity for Australians to come together and remember that 101 years ago, at 11.00 a.m. on 11 November, fighting was suspended and the whole world united to mark the end of the Great War.

In the eastern suburbs, dozens of communities attend events to pay respects to the local servicemen and servicewomen. This year I started Remembrance Day early, on Sunday 3 November at the 2019 Jewish Communal Wreath Laying and Remembrance Ceremony hosted by the NSW Association of Jewish Service & Ex-Service Men & Women [NAJEX] at the Sydney Jewish Museum. We were joined by New South Wales Governor and patron, Her Excellency the Hon. Margaret Beazley, AO, QC, and Professor the Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO.

The wonderful President, Roger Selby, started the occasion with a welcome speech. We began by laying our wreaths at the Sydney Jewish Museum. Then there was the kindling of the memorial lights by Bettina Cass AO, Valerie Hosek, Melissa McCurdie, Sue Selinger and Naomi Traction. Rabbi Dr Ben Elton introduced the service. I read Psalm 46 alongside NSW Jewish Board of Deputies President Lesli Berger and students from the 3rd Rose Bay Judean Scout Group. Lachlan Corne and Asha Friedman from the Emanuel School recited The Ode from For The Fallen, and then there was a really impressive performance of the Last Post and Reveille by Moriah College student Emma Cass. I mention Rabbi Yossi Friedman, who said the memorial prayer; Rabbi Dovid Slavin, who spoke the Mourner’s Kaddish; and Rabbi Kaiserblueth, who gave the Benediction. The ceremony is remarkable and joins the Jewish community and others together. I salute the work of NAJEX Executive and President Roger Selby; Vice-Presidents Monica Kleinman and Norman Symon; Honorary Secretary Jon Green; and Board Members Harvey Baden, Lesley Barold and Dr Keith Shilkin, AM.

Addressing the COA

On the morning of Remembrance Day, Monday 11 November, I attended the Waverley Council Remembrance Day ceremony, which was held at Waverley Cenotaph on Bondi Road. Terry Boys of the Eastern Suburbs Legion Club recited The Ode from For the Fallen and the band was from Waverley College on Birrell Street—not that far away. It performed the Last Post and Reveille after the one minute’s silence was observed at 11.00 a.m.

At the ceremony, I also caught up with NSW SES Waverley Woollahra Controller Kim Edwards and Eastern Suburbs Police Acting Superintendent Matt Scott, along with Waverley Councillors Sally Betts, Angela Burrill, Leon Goltsman and Tony Kay. I commend members of the local RSL sub‑branches who regularly attend those events because they do so much for our community. Rose Bay RSL Sub‑Branch and North Bondi RSL Sub‑Branch do fantastic work for Anzac Day, which I attend annually like many members of this House.

Following that service, Connections, Opportunities, Activities [COA] Sydney held its inaugural Remembrance Day service. COA is a local organisation that provides care services to people with a disability and the elderly. It is capably led by its President, Justice Frank Marks, and CEO, Rachel Tanny. The memorial lights were kindled at that service by Councillor Sally Betts, Romi Rutovitz of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Anna Marks, President of B’nai B’rith, Miri Orden from the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia and Jewish Folk Centre and Romy Dinte from the Jewish National Fund.

Army chaplain Rabbi Mendel Kastel from local Jewish House represented the House, its membership and the board and presented the prayer for Remembrance Day. Trevor Leach from the Central Synagogue presented the prayer for the welfare of veterans. The President of Wolper Jewish Hospital, Danny Goulburn, OAM, did the Call to Remembrance and Lorna Berger, Executive Director from the Women’s International Zionist Organisation NSW, recited The Ode from For The Fallen. We ended with a beautiful rendition of the Australian Anthem by Shirley Politzer, OAM, and Adam Leizer from Moriah College. I also thank the guest speaker, my local Federal member, Dave Sharma, who kept me company at all those events. He is a good man and it was a heartening service—the first of many to come for COA, I am sure.

Remembrance Day is building momentum in my local electorate with community outreach and the organisations that pay their respect to servicewomen and servicemen, both past and present. It is fitting we do that because in giving their lives and service they have allowed us to have a wonderful, thriving democracy that we, as MPs, are part of. I commend my private member’s statement to the House.”

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